Having a low-vision child makes you see the world through a different lens. It can be tricky, however, to find the right ways to keep them entertained and educated. Here are a few ideas for activities, both indoor and outdoor, for teaching and entertaining your low-vision child. Options include going to camp, educational board games, helping make meals, and tablet time while you work from home.
Activities With Friends
Whether your child’s friends are also low vision or not, there are plenty of games they can play together. Arts and crafts like finger painting aren’t just fun, they’re stimulating, tactile activities. WonderBaby suggests finger painting with food like applesauce and pudding! Gather up some colorful instruments like xylophones, kazoos, and drums (making these items can be a fun activity, too!) and have the kids put on a show for you.
Going to camp, like the Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind holds, are an awesome way for kids to learn, play, and have unforgettable experiences together. There are all kinds of tactile activities like swimming and rock climbing, not to mention stimulating activities like hiking, horseback riding, and cooking over a campfire. These special camps are designed to provide education, entertainment, leadership skills, and day-to-day skills to help them live more independently.
Activities With Siblings
Get some adaptable board games for your child to play with their sibling. Games like Monopoly have accessible versions with larger playing cards that have both enlarged print and braille. Dominoes, dice, and even Scrabble pieces all come in adaptable forms. These kinds of board games teach kids strategy, spelling, and math all while remaining amusing.
Hide and seek is another way siblings can play together. Because your non-low-vision child is aware of their sibling’s limitations, it’s easier to find hiding spots that are accessible. Incorporating some kind of flag or brightly colored fabric to mark their hiding spot can also keep the game accessible yet fun. Hiders can also leave a colorful trail leading to their spot, allowing your low-vision child to safely navigate around the house or yard.
Activities With Caregivers
If your child has an at-home caregiver, ask that they take a daily walk with your child as suggested by Teaching Students With Visual Impairments. Your child can touch tree bark, leaves, park benches, and anything else that engages their tactile senses. If it’s winter (and safe outside), make sure the walks are continued and that your child gets to play in the snow.
Since your caregiver will likely be providing at least one meal for your child, ask that they let your child help out with the cooking. For sandwiches, allow them to search the fridge for all the components and then compile them.
Activities With You
Of course, you can incorporate most of the above activities into your interactions with your child. Still, playing together strengthens your bond. One special activity is planting a sensory garden. Let your child choose the flowers that you’ll plant and where they’ll go in the garden. As the plants grow, encourage your child to lightly touch and smell the leaves, petals, and stems. Make garden upkeep a regular part of your weekends to teach your child the importance of nurturing living things. For older kids, you could encourage them to make art projects using natural materials they find in their own backyard. For example, have them create a nature mandala using an array of items with different colors, shapes, sizes, and textures.
If you work from home and don’t have an aide, it’s even trickier to keep your child entertained. This is an opportunity to let technology do the work. Allow them to play educational games on the computer or tablet. If they have a favorite show, use tools like on-demand viewing and DVRs so you can easily set them up for watching.
Low vision children change your way of thinking, especially when it comes to learning and entertaining. Going to camp, playing educational board games, helping make meals, and utilizing technology while you work from home are all excellent ways to keep them occupied and content.